Believe it or not, drunk driving used to be a very common crime. However, with the drug epidemic being what it is, there are a lot of cases involving drugged driving today. South Carolina has the second-highest drunk driving rate in the country. Specifically, South Carolina has an average of more than 6 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 people. The only state with worse numbers is Wyoming.
Whether someone is drunk or high, they should not be driving. Our Columbia car accident lawyers will work hard to hold them responsible.
What is the Difference Between Impaired Driving and Drunk Driving?
If someone is drunk, they are said to be intoxicated. Maybe they had a few too many shots. If they’re clearly under the influence of alcohol, the officers can charge them with drunk driving. Some of the signs of intoxication include the following:
- Slurring their words
- Bloodshot eyes
- Unsteady on their feet
- Unable to perform the field sobriety test
- A blood alcohol concentration greater than .08
The tricky thing is that a person can be under the influence of drugs without being intoxicated. They could be under the influence of heroin or methamphetamine. They won’t be drunk, but they will be impaired. Impaired driving involves someone whose ability to safely operate a vehicle is affected because of a foreign substance. A field sobriety test can often determine if someone is impaired or under the influence of drugs.
How Can Your Columbia Car Accident Lawyer Prove Impaired Driving?
One of the easiest ways to prove the defendant was at fault is to have them take a field sobriety test. The officers will do this at the accident scene. If they issue a ticket, your Columbia car accident lawyer can use this in court. If the defendant is charged and convicted of DUI, there will be proof of this. The criminal courts will have a detailed record of the arrest, the trial, and the ultimate conclusion of drunk driving.
This sort of evidence can be the strongest when it comes to proving liability. The insurance company will also be more likely to settle a case when they see a ticket was issued. And if they see that their client was charged and convicted of the crime of impaired driving, they know you’ll have a good chance of winning in court. This may make them more likely to give you what you want.
The Police in South Carolina Can’t Always Test for Drugged Driving
If someone is pulled over for drunk driving, the cops can do a breathalyzer test right away. This will allow them to measure the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration. If it’s over the legal limit of .08, they’ll be arrested and charged with DUI. It can be a lot harder when the police suspect that the defendant is under the influence of drugs. Sure, they may smell marijuana. They may even see drugs or paraphernalia in plain view in the driver’s car. But that doesn’t automatically mean the driver is under the influence of drugs.
If the police find drugs on the scene of the crash, they can test it to see if it’s an illegal drug. There are test kits the officer can carry with them. However, this will only prove that a drug is illegal. It won’t tell the officer if the driver is actually under the influence of these drugs. In order to do that, they’ll need to do a urine or chemical test. They can do this at the hospital or at the police station.
Contact a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina Right Away
If you or your loved one is injured in any sort of car accident, you need to focus on what’s important – getting better. The last thing you’ll want to do is fight with the insurance company. That’s why you should call and talk to one of our skilled car accident lawyers in Columbia as soon as possible after your crash. You can schedule your free, initial consultation within days of your accident.
We understand that you’re probably in a lot of pain due to your injuries. That’s why we can come to you when it comes to your first meeting. We can conduct the consultation by phone or online if that works better for you. Our goal is to get enough information in this first meeting to make a fair evaluation of your case.
We want to find out what happened and see what information you’ve received from the defendant. We’ll review any letters from the insurance company and find out why your claim wasn’t paid. We’ll also review the police report to see what sort of proof there is that the other driver was impaired or intoxicated at the time of the crash.
The initial consultation is absolutely free. You don’t even pay anything until your case is resolved. So, call right away and set up a date and time that works for you.